This is my next, “Oh God I love this anime!” anime.
We’re up to episode 2, so I’ll try not to spoil too much but there will be spoilage. But I suspect that even if I knew every plot detail and twist in advance, I doubt if it would spoil anything.
Adachi to Shimamura is a slice of life yuri romance. I love yuri. Not in any “wanting to be the meat in the sandwich” way – though I could see that with the right ecchi or hentai. Those are genres where the intent is to arouse. AtoS is all about romance and shoujo.
It is due to my own emotional biases. It is what I grew up with. Somehow, the love of a girl or woman has always felt more honest and pure than the love of a guy. Even though I’ve known women who were vile and plenty abusive and deceiving and quick to take advantage as well as guys who were completely without guile.
Girls are sugar and spice and everything nice, etc. Women are either sisters or nurses or wives or mothers – or hookers with a heart of gold. While men can be chivalrous, the love of a man feels far more likely to be impure. More social conditioning.
By “pure” I don’t mean lust-free. Love can be a pure as the driven snow and still look like manic hentai on speed. By pure I mean honest, absent of ulterior motives, and as close to altruism as humans ever get.
When I see two women who are in love, I see purity squared. It is my fantasy and I’ll run with it.
Adachi and Shimamura met on a second-floor area next to the gymnasium. Adachi is brunette with often straggly hair and Shimamura has a bit longer blonde hair. Both are low-level delinquents, I suppose. Playing ping pong together held more interest than boring classes. Shimamura begins the first episode with some narration:
“It’s not uncommon to see students skipping class on top
of the rooftop in manga and such, but if you actually
took a nap up there, you’d get a sunburn like no other.
I think third period is about to start for everybody else.
I pretty much always skipped classes,
and Adachi rarely if ever came to school.
We happened to meet up here by chance,
and ended up spending a lot of time together.“
Shimamura is bright, attractive, and popular. For her, the classroom represents boredom. Adachi is shy, socially awkward. (There’s our requisite odd-couple.) She may well be bored by class but she is also avoiding the discomfort of socializing.
Shimamura takes this relationship pretty casually though she realizes she is sinking in deeper.
Adachi doesn’t really understand how relationships work. She feels beyond insecure when Shimamura hangs with her other friends. Adachi wants to monopolize her feelings and attention. We don’t yet know about Shimamaru’s sexual preferences.
“I had a dream where I kissed Shimamura.
It’s not like I’m into that.
I think I just want to be closer to Shimamura.
But it is definitely not like that.
It is starting to look like Adachi is going through a yuri awakening with a touch of denial.
Shimamura is slowly coaxing Adachi to return to class. She realizes that as boring as it is, school is something she must accept if she is to have her bright future. Adachi grudgingly agrees. One suspects that it’s really to be close to her newfound friend for more of the day. Shimamura sees commonality with Adachi in that neither one of them likes to open up to others.
Adachi’s fantasies are running away with her. She’s over to visit Shinamura at her house. Fantasies in Adachi’s head provoke her into asking to sit between Shinamura’s legs. She replies, “Sure. Why not? Imouto does.”
One becomes very worried that the two of them are not quite on the same relationship page.
There are some more characters of note. There’s a small person in an astronaut suit floating around. Their name is Yashiro Chikama, gender unknown. They wander about whispering “Shuko” repeatedly. Yashiro can talk and have conversations and even eat a doughnut but their face is unknown. Says they came here from another planet and is looking for their compatriot. Might make a cute little cupid.
Nagafujii is a tall large busted megane. Hino is shorter and has minimal curves. So far they’ve just been comic relief but Adachi was a little jealous every time they were with Shimamura. Hino has a habit of grabbing the larger girl’s breasts and Nagafujii doesn’t seem terribly concerned. This could be the tired old anime breast jealously trope or they could be hinting at a yuri relationship here as well.
The animation here is dreamy when it needs to be and fairly subdued and slightly hazy the rest of the time. (Reminds me of looking at high contrast images thru cataracts.) Occasionally you get sharp little gems like the manufacturer and country of a ping pong ball. (Made in China!) TBS has done a creditable – if predictable – job here.
If you like the genre you’ll like this. Too early to know if it will develop into a classic like Bloom into You or Asagao to Kase-san but I’m pretty confident it will be good.
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